NFC South division winner: New Orleans Saints
The NFC South may give the AFC South a run for its money for the worst division in the NFL. This division will feature a new starting quarterback for every respective team. Desmond Ridder is starting for the Falcons, No. 1 overall selection Bryce Young was just named the starter for the Panthers, the Saints signed Derek Carr, and the Bucs are expected to roll with Baker Mayfield in their first year of the post-Tom Brady era.
The Saints have the best offensive line, offensive skill position group, and defensive unit in this division. The receiving group of Chris Olave, Michael Thomas (if healthy), and Rashid Shaheed combined with the running back duo of Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams gives Carr plenty of options to work with. We're rocking with New Orleans here.
NFC North division winner: Green Bay Packers
Life after Aaron Rodgers isn’t so bad for the Packers. They have former first-round selection Jordan Love ready to step in under center and he has a great opportunity to succeed in his first year as the starter. Love is stepping into a ready-made offense with a high-powered running back duo in Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, along with some exciting young receivers such as Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.
The offensive line led by David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins should help keep Love upright and the defense has playmakers on all three levels of the field between Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary, Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, and more.
The Vikings were last year’s NFC North winners but lost key pieces on both sides of the field such as Za’Darius Smith, Dalvin Cook, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Adam Thielen. Not to mention, their 13-win season could be one of the biggest mirages in NFL history. Per ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, The Vikings became the first team ever to win 13 or more games with a negative point differential throughout a season. Additionally, the Vikings went a remarkable and unsustainable 11-0 in games decided by one score or less last season.
The Lions were a great story last season under head coach Dan Campbell in his first year and are highly expected to take another step forward this season as the odds-on favorites to win the NFC North. However, this is still the Detroit Lions. To anoint what has been one of the most disappointing franchises in NFL history (and arguably the history of modern sports) as the consensus divisional champions after a strong finish to a season in which they didn’t even make the postseason just feels wrong.
The Bears made notable offseason additions including when they signed Tremaine Edmunds and traded the No. 1 overall pick in a deal that landed them star wide receiver D.J. Moore from the Panthers among other moves. Justin Fields is poised for a big year too.
Ultimately, though, the Packers have the best and longest-tenured head coach in the NFC North with Matt LaFleur. He is 47-19 in his four seasons as the head coach of the Packers. The record speaks for itself, making it hard to bet against the Packers in 2023.